Vincent Luis in action. Photo: Super League Triathlon
Super League Triathlon (SLT) has announced its starting line-up for the final Championship Series event of the season, with current SLT leaders Vincent Luis (FRA) and Katie Zaferes (USA) hoping to continue their outstanding form and claim the Championship in Singapore on 23-24 February.
But nothing is assured… for in true SLT style, the athletes competing in Singapore’s ONE°15 Marina and Sentosa Cove next month will be awarded double points for their placings in the final challenge of the season, meaning Luis and Zaferes mustn’t put a foot wrong or risk being toppled from their leading positions.
Who can stop Luis?
In the men’s race, Luis currently sits at the head of the leaderboard with the maximum 75 points, but his season’s challenger Henri Schoeman (RSA) hasn’t taken his sights off the title yet, with an impressive 63 points. Schoeman’s compatriot Richard Murray goes into Singapore with 48 points and Britain’s Jonny Brownlee sits just behind with 46 points.
The ‘Top 4’ has remained largely unchanged this season in the men’s racing, with all four managing to hang on to their coloured jerseys* in Jersey, Malta and Mallorca. But the double points scoring system in ONE°15 Marina and Sentosa Cove could see an upset to the overall results thanks to New Zealand’s young Hayden Wilde, who has taken to SLT like a duck to water. The 21-year-old currently sits in fifth place with 34 points, and any slip-ups from the ‘Top 4’ in either the Eliminator or Enduro formats across the racing weekend could see Wilde snatch the podium from Brownlee or Murray or even Schoeman in Singapore.
Photo: Super League Triathlon
An all-American dream?
Katie Zaferes has looked unstoppable this season, maintaining her pink series leader jersey throughout. Her fierce USA teammate Kirsten Kasper, who has remained Zaferes’ biggest challenger so far, goes into Singapore in second place with 54 points. Impressive performances from a host of the women’s roster have seen a see-saw battle for the ‘Top 5’ at every stage. Rachel Klamer (NED) and Taylor Spivey (USA) could shake things up at the top of the table, as could Summer Rappaport (née Cook) (USA) who has worn the red jersey (run leader) twice this season thanks to some lightning-quick run times.
Who can topple the leaders?
The women have a serious battle on their hands if they want to take away Zaferes’ chance of winning the title this season, but the double points scoring system in Singapore could make it a possibility. If the current leader suffers from unforgiving mistakes and finishes fourth or lower in Singapore, Kasper can take the title if she wins her races. Things could heat up even further if Zaferes finishes in eighth place or lower, opening up the opportunity for both Klamer and Spivey to fight for the crown.
In the men’s race, Schoeman can steal Luis’ top spot if he wins the weekend's races and the Frenchmen finishes third or below. Both Murray and Brownlee could be in with a chance to poach Luis’ season-long lead if either wins the weekend in Singapore, but Luis would need to finish seventh or lower overall and Schoeman fourth.
A truly international finale
There will be athletes from 18 different nations competing in Singapore, showcasing the worldwide appeal SLT enjoys. Beyond the big names and recognisable faces, the finale event next month will welcome fresh talent from the Asia Pacific, as the allure of triathlon intensifies in the region.
Photo: Super League Triathlon
SLT athletes to engage with the Singaporean community
Numerous community engagement sessions have also been planned for the SLT athletes while they are in town in the days leading up to Race Weekend. The athletes will volunteer their time to lead several track sessions and community engagements including Sport Singapore’s ActiveSG and SportCares, the philanthropic arm of Sport Singapore established to serve communities in Singapore and to help people live better through sport
Three local teams from Sport Singapore will also be participating in the Team Enduro event on Sunday, 24 February. Two teams will feature Team Singapore athletes including 2006 and 2010 Asian Games gold medallist and 2008 Olympian Tao Li, 2012 & 2014 Asian Netball Championships gold medallist and current captain of the National Netball Team Charmaine Soh, and members of the national water-polo, floorball and cricket teams. The final team will consist of youths who are active volunteers in Sport Singapore’s SportCares community.
Junior triathletes to compete in Singapore
Super League Triathlon also provides a platform for the next generation of triathletes to compete, inviting the best youths (17-19 year-olds) from around Asia to race head to head across the Enduro format. Happening on Sunday, 24 February, both male and female Juniors will race the same course as the Pros with modified distances. Singaporean athletes to look out for include 18 year-old Luke Chua, who finished in first place at the 2018 Queensland Triathlon Series in Raby Bay, Australia and is also the first Singaporean to cross the line at
the 2018 Asian Youth Olympic Qualifying event in the Philippines. The race will also feature 17 year-old Emma Middleditch who represented Singapore at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, finishing 11th in the triathlon event.
Other promising Singaporean triathletes participating in the junior race include Nicholas Rachmadi and Herlene Yu who a part of a select few to be members of the Asian Triathlon Confederation (ASTC) training squad, and compete regularly on the ASTC Asian Cup circuit.
Things to look forward to on Race Weekend
Entry is free for all spectators to the Super League Triathlon in ONE°15 Marina and Sentosa Cove. Apart from the racing action, fans can look forward to fun-filled family oriented activities in the Fan Zone that will be free for all. Fans can try out a series of kid friendly activities including a mini bike challenge and obstacle course. They can also enjoy a variety of food and beverage options while being entertained by a live DJ. Athletes will also be conducting autograph signing sessions and Q & A’s in the Fan Zone during the weekend.